Use it or lose it
Today I FINALLY got back in the gym after 3+ weeks out since going to Bali, getting ill after Bali and taking this week to recover.
As with any extended break from training, getting back to it felt both brilliant and weird. Half of me was buzzing. Half of me was wondering if I would remember how to turn the Treadmill on?!
There would have been no good in me going straight back into a proper 1 hour+ workout, so I started small. Rather than 10 / 20 minutes on machines (eg. Treadmill & Stepper), I did just 5 mins on each.
Rather than 30 reps (eg. Push ups, Sit ups etc), I did 15 … it’s not rocket science hey? … Sometimes you gotta ease back in. Taking it steady over the next couple of days will mean within a week or so I’ll be ramping back up to my usual sessions.
Going slow works for both starting back into training and also if you ‘never’ train; you have to begin somewhere. Baby steps, baby steps! You have to give your body a chance to adjust and get those limbs (and your muscle memory!) working again.
I have said this so many times and I will say it forever; you never regret a workout. Use it or lose it kids!
Rip off the band aid
Speaking with a friend recently; we discussed those times when you don’t want to have an awkward chat with someone (but you know you have to). There are going to be so many times in your life when you really (really!) don’t want to have a conversation with someone.
This will happen in relationships, friendships and often during your career too.
The best way to tackle it on every front is;
#1 Work out what you want to say. While you never know how a convo is going to go, you will have a good idea of what you need to say. This will be the train of thought that you’ve been playing re-runs of in your head. This is you thinking from your heart and therefore it is the right thing for you. You must listen to your inner-compass.
#2 Once you have established the crux of what needs to be said, it’s onto the next stage (the one that we’d all rather avoid). It’s time to actually say it.
Best rule to live by is; get all American on your own ass and ‘Rip off the band aid!’ … (Doesn’t sound the same when you say ‘Plaster’ as you would in the UK does it?!)
… Pick a day and know ‘This is the day’, arrange to see said person(s) and immediately bring whatever is on your mind to light.
For all the time you have spent worrying about how to approach the situation it really can be over within a matter of 2 minutes. Not only will you have lifted a huge weight off your shoulders but you never know – you might get the outcome you are hoping for too.
Don’t overthink any further … trust yourself and talk!
React to your own alarm bells
More thoughts off the back of a recent conversation with a friend; so many of us deal with anxiety / stress. It’s a ‘way of life’ in some respects.
I can honestly say I ”didn’t know what stress was” until it smacked me bang in the face during one job in Sydney. That trauma changed me as a person.
I would get physically stiff down the right side of my body and through my shoulders. Mentally I would shut off and experience blurred vision; to the point of seeing a blank computer screen – this used to seriously frighten me, which all added to the stress. #notgood #reallynotgood
Going forward I know how to make the best of an extremely difficult time in my life. Knowing my warning signs means I can deal with things much more effectively than I did when it first ever happened. As soon as my right side tenses up I know it’s time to step away and take 5 mins to regain my composure.
I’m writing this to say; if you have any problems whatsoever with stress/ anxiety please start looking out for your initial warning signs. This is your body and mind telling you you are in a predicament that is not good for you. You basically need to take heed and rescue yourself!
Think of a horse – a horse is a ‘Flight’ animal. If you put a horse in a dangerous situation and it has nowhere to run you will see it very quickly deteriorate into physical shaking, sweating, strained neighs, wild eyes and moving quickly back-and-for in whatever space is available as it urgently tries to get away from whatever is worrying.
In my experience, as a human – we don’t always ‘run away’ quickly. We try to deal with things, try to make sense of them, try to make people see things from our point of view etc.
I firmly believe; if you can feel something it is real. If you feel weird, uptight, worried recognise what is happening.
If you find yourself feeling physically uncomfortable or worried mentally; do whatever you need to do to regain yourself. Pick up the phone and call someone you trust, go for a walk, put some rubbish TV on to help take your mind off things, get off social media and breatheee – whatever floats your boat.
I think the most important thing I am trying to remind you of with all points raised here is; self care matters. Look after you, you’re the only you there is. If you don’t work out; you really should do something, anything! Trust yourself to have those tricky conversations and look out for No.1 if the going gets tough.
Thank you for reading.
*Check the pic below for lols at my bruised CANKLE; 2014, Salvador, South America … 5 years ago today I had stepped off a step on my second night in Brazil for the World Cup and rolled my ankle. I didn’t go to the doctors for about 3 days after as I was so busy partying I just kept going and ignored the pain.
I swear those 5 weeks that followed in South America (with me living on crutches!) had me worrying if I would ever be able to run again! That was a perfect example of not appreciating good health until I didn’t have it for a while – look after your (only!) body kids!!